A little matchmaking

A little matchmaking

Apr 29
Marla Todd, Associate Director of Advancement Communications

Anticipation and hopefulness transitioned into excitement and promise for seniors in the UIUC dietetics program. Earlier this month, students in the UIUC Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) found out where they will be spending the next 8-24 months as they complete their Dietetic Internships (DI). The DI is the second step in the process to becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD) and requires 1,200 hours of supervised practice. Some of the DIs are combined with master’s degree programs including those in nutritional sciences, public health, or business administration. This allows interns to take graduate courses alongside supervised practice to gain advanced training and credentials. There are three major steps to becoming an RD. First, a bachelor’s degree in an accredited dietetics program must be completed. Then, future RD hopefuls must complete a DI and the final step is completion of a comprehensive national RD examination.

The DI matching process takes place biannually in April and November. Students prepare application materials including a list of preferred DI sites. After the students submit, the DI sites evaluate the applicants and rank them. A computerized program then matches applicants to internships so that both parties have a choice in the outcome. The first round of matching results are then released to students and they are allowed a few days to either accept or decline the offer to the DI to which they are matched. If students chose to decline, that spot is open for the second round of matching.

Of the 20 seniors who will graduate in May 2013, 15 were already matched with DIs in the first round (75 percent). The remaining five are awaiting results from the second round match. The UIUC DPD Program surpasses the national placement average of around 50 percent. To get a better idea of the competitive nature of the DI, in 2009 4,214 DI applicants nationwide applied but only 2,323 were matched.

Congratulations to our DPD seniors and good luck in your dietetic internships. You are one big step closer to becoming future RDs!

RD program at U of I

RD program at U of I display